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Black Lamb


Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.


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Archive for the 'Gardner' Category

Marriage schmarriage

April 1st, 2007


judgestern.jpgMaybe I’m too jaded from all my years of work in the negative end of the proposition to be a really fair commentator on the hallowed institution of marriage. I’ve done pretty well in my own two attempts, one sailing along for more than twelve years before breaking up on the shoals, and the second still running briskly on a long fetch against pretty steady winds after nearly thirty. But that divorce, way back in the Seventies, left its scars on my psyche, and on hers and the kids’. We all got our ration of sadness out of that, and one of life’s hardest lessons about the fragility of hallowed institutions and the emptiness of human expectations. But all of life is risk of some order, and there’s something in our tribal nature that craves relationship. It’s worked out better for me this time, much better.

But the divorce work I do, maybe thirty percent of my law practice, continues to exact its toll.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Marriage Issue, Gardner | Link to this Entry

Family dog: take three

March 1st, 2007


puppydog.jpgFinding our dog Rusty at the Animal Shelter in Wenatchee turned out to be a lucky event for us as well as him. When our twelve-year-old black lab, Babe, had to be put down the year before, both Connie and I were uncertain whether or not we wanted another dog. Babe was dearly loved, and a truly beautiful pure-bred with highfaluting papers confirming a grand, prize-winning ancestry, but she was a terribly neurotic and anxious animal, who for god-knows-what reason was always wary of me, no matter what I did to show my honorable intentions and affections, and afraid of all men in general. That was particularly hard on me, as I’d had dogs around all my life and had great relationships with them.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Gardner | Link to this Entry

My TV and me

March 1st, 2006


I’ve had a fascination with TV about as far back as I can remember. As a young child in the late Forties, I first saw those tiny flickering human figures in small, usually round, glowing picture tubes in bulky wooden furniture pieces in appliance stores, arousing a curiosity and excitement that has never much abated over all these years. Despite endless yearning and pleading from my brothers and me, my folks were hardasses; we didn’t actually get our own TV set until 1954, so until I was about eleven, what TV my younger brothers and I got to see was mooched off neighbors and friends.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Television Issue, Gardner | Link to this Entry

A really big deal

December 1st, 2004

birdhunter.jpgBY BUD GARDNER

Christmas was almost always a really big deal when I was a kid, back in the early Fifties. My dad was a chemical engineer, happily making metal alloys and rolling out thousands of miles of aluminum sheet to help Henry Kaiser make more millions, and we were definitely comfortable middle class in a poor rural area, slowly morphing into the suburbs of the growing city of Spokane, Washington. I was very conscious growing up that my Christmas was much more remunerative than many of my grade school classmates’ at Veradale Elementary.

The year I got a three-speed Schwinn, in the fifth grade, I went to school after the Christmas break eager to tell everybody about my great new bike. The first guy I ran into, going up the steps, was Stan Goehner. I knew he got beat up at home, because he came to school with bruises, and one time with a black eye that hung on for weeks. Broken thumb, broken wrist, he always had excuses, but all the boys knew his dad was a drunk and he beat up Stan’s mom, and Stan, too.

But the bike year he hadn’t been beat up, and, beaming, he said, “Look at the gloves I got!” as he produced a pair of roughout leather work gloves from the back pocket of his jeans and thrust them forward for me to see.

“Nice,” I said. I knew that was it for Stan. In the fifth grade you always start at the top, right? Who starts with the knitted winter socks from aunt Elsie? Well, I told him about the books I got, from my Grampa; I didn’t feel comfortable telling him about the bike. Lordy, middle-class guilt in rural Spokane valley in 1953.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Christmas Issue, Gardner | Link to this Entry

The lawyer as hero

September 1st, 2003

tokillamockingbird.jpgBY BUD GARDNER

It’s not as if I go down to my office on Monday morning, sit down at my desk and try to transform myself into Atticus Finch, but I suppose, like most lawyers, I’d sure like to be seen as that wonderful, patient, and wise lawyer-dad character Gregory Peck made famous in To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus, with his solitary and principled stand against ignorance and bigotry, with his commitment to a process intended to protect the individual against those very forces, but which are perverted into a vehicle for prejudice and injustice. The attentive and patient single parent, giving his young children their first life lessons in morality and social conscience.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Movie Issue, Gardner | Link to this Entry

Hope for the indolent

June 1st, 2003

dagwoodnappingBY BUD GARDNER

The book was a birthday gift from a friend, as I recall, and I believe it had been intended as a joke. The Lazy Man’s Guide To Enlightenment by Thaddeus Golas was a narrow and very thin paperback, and I’m sure I shrugged it off at the time with a “Thanks, I really need this,” stated with self-deprecating irony but with no idea of just how potent this little book really was.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Book Issue, Books and Authors, Gardner | Link to this Entry

Author profile

December 1st, 2002

Bud Gardner was born in 1943 and raised in arid, rural, eastern Washington state. In 1961 he went to the wet, west side of the state for college at U Dub in Seattle, where he earned his BA in English comp and political science, and a law degree. After seven years of criminal defense work in Seattle, and a divorce, he took a “vacation” from the law, bummed around in Mexico, managed a Pioneer Square bar, worked for a while as a private eye, did construction carpentry and some field surveying, and, observing that most folks work too hard for miserable pay, reasonably concluded that it might be appropriate to reconsider the legal profession, in a revised context. Returning to eastern Washington in 1980, he remarried, and he has maintained a general law practice in Okanogan since. He and his wife Connie enjoy their quiet home life in a (remodeled) hundred-year-old farm house surrounded by orchards. Bud likes to fly fish, raises prize-winning dahlias, and dabbles in country music and writing. His Black Lamb column is called Country Lawyer.

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Gardner | Link to this Entry


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